Port given $2.5m in debt-relief by SANFL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Port given $2.5m in debt-relief by SANFL

By Daniel Brettig 20/05/2009 04:40:31 PM Comments (0)

Port Adelaide's short-term financial woes have been eased by the decision by AFL licence holder the SANFL to inject $2.5 million into the club.

But the formulation of an improved stadium deal and business plan - the key planks on the Power's plan to remain viable in the long run - remain to be finalised despite protracted negotiations between the club, the SANFL and the AFL.

The $2.5 million, in addition to another grant of $1 million handed to the Power in December 2008, will go partly towards wiping out a debt of $5.1 million while also funding Port's plans for a self-sustaining future.

The AFL is also expected to announce some short-term financial relief for Port, though the club's future beyond the next two years will depend more on the stadium, the business plan and the continuing search for new and improved revenue streams.

"This investment by the SANFL back into our business certainly eases the pressure on the club and importantly will allow us - when coupled with support from the AFL - to focus on delivering long-term growth," said Port president Brett Duncanson.

"This process is not about the short-term, this is about changing the long-term business model in partnership with our key stakeholders.

"We have firstly undertaken a detailed examination of the club's finances and forecasts, and communicated the results of that to those stakeholders.

"They now understand and accept our position, and have agreed to work closely with us to methodically rebuild our business model so that it is sustainable well into the future.

"To allow that methodical rebuilding requires us to access a greater share of the revenue we generate at our home matches, but also a short-term cash re-injection for debt elimination and revenue certainty."

Duncanson said the stadium deal could be finalised in the next three months - an expectation seemingly supported by SANFL executive commissioner Leigh Whicker, who has noticeably softened an earlier hardline stance on the future of arrangements surrounding AAMI Stadium.

"The SA Football Commission and the Port Adelaide Football Club Board will continue to work together on both short and long-term strategies to ensure the ongoing sustainability of the club," said Whicker.

"A healthy and prosperous Port Adelaide is good for all football in South Australia."

Port have had more good news in the form of an updated projection for their return from home games in 2009.

"We are pleased that our crowds are up 15 per cent on last year when comparing like games," Duncanson said.

"If that trend continues, then combined with the efforts to cut costs it will substantially reduce our projected full-year stadium net loss under the current arrangements from the original budget estimate of $777,000 to somewhere closer to $400,000."

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